Summary: H.R.2608 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 108-360 (10/25/2004)

(This measure has not been amended since it was passed by the Senate on October 6, 2004. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Title I: Earthquake Hazard Reduction - National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act of 2004 - (Sec. 103) Amends the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 (the Act) to reauthorize the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program through FY 2009. Requires that Program activities be designed to: (1) develop effective measures for earthquake hazards reduction; (2) promote the adoption of such measures (through grants and agreements, technical assistance, development of standards, and information on seismic risk and hazards reduction) by Federal, State, and local governments, national standards and model code organizations, architects and engineers, building owners, and others with a role in planning and constructing buildings, structures, and lifelines; (3) improve the understanding of earthquakes and their effects on communities, buildings, structures, and lifelines through interdisciplinary research; and (4) develop, operate, and maintain an Advanced National Seismic Research and Monitoring System, the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, and the Global Seismographic Network.

Establishes an Interagency Coordinating Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction, to be chaired by the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to: (1) oversee the planning, management, and coordination of the Program; (2) develop and update periodically a strategic plan that establishes goals and priorities for Program activities and a management plan to implement such strategic plan; (3) develop and submit to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget a coordinated interagency budget for the Program that will ensure appropriate balance among Program activities; and (4) transmit annual reports to specified congressional committees.

Requires the Director to establish an Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction to: (1) assess trends and developments in the science and engineering of earthquake hazards reduction, the Program's effectiveness in carrying the activities, the need to revise the Program, and Program management, coordination, implementation, and activities; and (2) report its findings and recommendations for improving the Program to the NIST Director. Provides that the Committee's recommendations shall be considered by Federal agencies in implementing such Program.

Places the primary responsibility for planning and coordinating the Program with NIST (currently, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)). Instructs the NIST Director, in carrying out the Program, to support the development and commercial application of performance-based seismic engineering tools through earthquake-related building codes, standards, and construction practices.

Requires the Director of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to: (1) operate, using the National Earthquake Information Center, a forum for the international exchange of earthquake information; (2) work with other Program agencies to coordinate Program activities with similar earthquake hazards reduction efforts in other countries, to ensure that the Program benefits from relevant information and advances in those countries; and (3) maintain seismic hazard maps in support of building codes for structures and lifelines, including maps for performance based design approaches. Requires the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to: (1) support research that improves the safety and performance of buildings, structures, and lifeline systems using large-scale experimental and computational facilities of the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation and other institutions engaged in research and the implementation of the Program; and (2) include diverse institutions, including black colleges and universities and those serving large proportions of underrepresented populations. Provides for guidance by the Interagency Coordinating Committee (currently, FEMA) to the Program agencies in preparing requests for appropriations for activities related to the Program.

(Sec. 104) Authorizes appropriations for FY 2005 through 2009 for carrying out the Act for: (1) FEMA, including for supporting the development of performance-based, cost-effective, and affordable design guidelines and methodologies in codes for buildings, structures, and lifelines; (2) USGS; (3) NSF; and (4) NIST, including for supporting the development of such codes. Provides separate authorizations for the Advanced National Seismic Research and Monitoring System and for the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation.

Title II: Windstorm Impact Reduction - National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act of 2004 - (Sec. 204) Establishes the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program to achieve major measurable reductions in losses of life and property from windstorms.

Requires the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to establish an Interagency Working Group consisting of representatives of the NSF, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NIST, FEMA, and other Federal agencies as appropriate. Outlines general agency responsibilities.

Requires the Program to consist of the following primary mitigation components: (1) improved understanding of windstorms; (2) windstorm impact assessment; and (3) windstorm impact reduction, which shall be implemented through activities such as data collection and analysis and research and development. Requires research activities authorized under this Act to be peer-reviewed and the components to be designed to be complementary to and avoid duplication of other hazard reduction efforts.

Requires the Working Group to: (1) develop an implementation plan for achieving Program objectives; and (2) transmit biennial reports on the status of the Program.

(Sec. 205) Requires the Director to establish a National Advisory Committee on Windstorm Impact Reduction to assess: (1) trends and developments in the science and engineering of windstorm impact reduction; (2) the effectiveness of the Program in carrying out specified activities to improve windstorm impact assessment; (3) revising the Program; and (4) implementation and management of the Program. Requires the Advisory Committee to report biennially on such assessment.

(Sec. 207) Authorizes appropriations to FEMA, NSF, NIST, and NOAA for FY 2006 though 2008 for carrying out this title.

(Sec. 208) Modifies reporting requirements under the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act to require reports by January 30 of each odd-numbered year.

Title III: Commercial Space Transportation - (Sec. 301) Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary of Transportation for the Office of the Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation for FY 2005 through 2009.